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The foodlover's guide to Amsterdam


Chufi
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Thanks, Mark. I'm sure we will have questions as we get closer to the trip. When we pick places to go for vacation, the local food is always the first consideration, and we are really looking forward to this trip. It's also a 25th anniversary celebration.

We're staying in a little hotel called Seven Bridges "at the beautiful intersection of pictoresque Reguliersgracht-canal and majestic Keizersgracht-canal." We are planning on renting bikes and riding around the city, weather permitting. If you know of any not-to-be-missed food places in the hotel neighborhood, for any type of food or meal, please let me know. We enjoy both lowbrow or upscale, as long as the food is great.

I am especially interested in excellent pastry shops. I will visit all of the places listed here.

Thanks to all of you for your generous information.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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Well, congratulations on your 25th and may be there be many more thereafter...

I've heard good things about Seven Bridges but don't actually know anyone who's stayed there....I believe you're just a few doors down from FOAM (photography museum), one of Amsterdam's best (IMHO) museum-y type things to do.

You're also lucky to be very close to a couple of pretty reliable food successes. 1 block to your west is the Vijzelgracht, which features a few neighborhood places:

-Holtkamp, the excellent bakery which Klary wrote about here.

-Le Delizie, an Italian deli/to-go place with a small but very good antipasto bar (tuna & white bean salad, roasted artichokes in EVOO, house-dried tomatoes, etc.) and also more dinner-y dishes that I've never tried). Only downside: it's a little more expensive than it could be, IMHO.

-Caffe Nero is supposed to be a good Italianate breakfast spot, which as you probably know means coffee and a croissant or similar filled pastry. I've never made it there that early, but I can vouch for their espresso, one of the best in Amsterdam.

Two blocks to your Northeast is the Blauwbrug, where you can cross the Amstel and enter the Waterlooplein/Stopera 'hood...the only reason you'd do this would be to either buy a bong/tie-dyed T-shirt combo at the Waterloomarkt, or to hit my Surinamese sandwich recommendations at De Tokoman and/or De Hapjeshoek. Or maybe the nightshop Sterk (open til 2am) for something essential like TP or grilled cheese fixins. Well, there's also a natural foods store over here on the Jodenbreestraat (De Weegschaal, Joedenbreestraat 20) if you have special nutritional requirements (they also carry the delicious Tofu-Curry broodje from Bakkerij Annee. You should probably have one of these...they're wonderful, and a wonderful example of tofu in pastry that is not the tiniest bit weird or gross. A word of warning: they sell a number of tofubroodjes there, only one of which is from Annee, and that's the only one you want. You want an "Annee tofu/kerrie broodje").

OK, so there are a couple reasons you might come over this way. :wink:

Also, when you're at Waterlooplein and the Stopera, you're also close to Puccini Bomboni, one of the more respected chocolatiers in town, just walk north/west along the Amstel from the Blauwbrug to Staalstraat.

One of the things I really missed when I lived on that side of town (the Old Side of the center) was quality Turkish/Moroccan baked goods (there's really nowhere to get them), which you guys definitely shouldn't miss while you're here. For you it probably makes sense to head down to the Albert Cuypmarkt area one day to sample that element of "Amsterdam Regional Cooking" (along with all the other goodness that is Albert Cuypmarkt). :smile: Unfortunately, I don't get down there as often as I used to so I don't have any specific recs for you other than Kismet. There are also two very popular Dutch breadbakers down there (lines out the door), whose names are eluding me at the moment. One is on the Ferdinand Bolstraat and one is on the 1e van der Helststraat maybe? I'm sure someone will fill in my blanks.

OK, thanks for giving me something useful to do during morning coffee... :smile:

mark

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the Vijzelgracht is currently torn to pieces while they work on the North-South metro line. You can still get to the places mentioned above, but it may be difficult to see them as they're probably obscured by cranes, workmen, protective fencing, etc.

Edited by markemorse (log)
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I am delighted to have found this thread! My husband and I are going to Amsgterdam in early November (hope it's not too cold then) and now we have a source for dining recommendations.

Thanks!

Eileen

Hi Eileen! Happy anniversary! How wonderful that you are coming here. November can have all sorts of weather. But I always feel that when the weather is bad in Amsterdam, you just have a good excuse to get inside a warm cosy cafe and order a jenever :laugh: Also, Amsterdam is small, so it's really easy to navigate and get to a number of places in one day.

I am preparing for a trip to Seattle & Vancouver right now, but when I'm back (end of September) I hope I'll be able to help you with some more recommendations. And maybe we could plan an eGullet get-together (although we should not plan on this thread, but via PM's.) Just thinking out loud here.

Anyway. Pastryshops! I think your hotel is near Utrechtsestraat, which is a good food-street. It has one of the most famous (and most expensive) butchers of the city, Fred en Yolanda de Leeuw. It also has the patisserie which was nominated best patisserie in 2005, Kuyt.

And at the end, on the corner, is a very authentic Dutch cafe, which doubles as a liquor store. The kind where men of a certain age start drinking 'kopstoot' (a beer and a jenever, together) at 4 PM, with rugs on the tables and lots of smoke in the air. but, a friendly atmosphere and I like it. The name does escape me right now but it begins with an H.. :smile:

The Albert Cuyp area is a must-visit in my opinion. I would love to show you around. There is one patisserie/bakery there that also serves coffee, it's on the Albert Cuypstraat so I'm not sure if that's the one mark was talking about. It sells what I believe is called 'artisinal bread' and while I have some issues with them (they can be a bit snotty, you know like "we have the best bread and pastries in the city"), I still have to admit their baked goods are fabulous! Definitely worth a visit for morning coffee and a piece of pie or pastry. It's called Bakken met passie, Albert Cuypstraat 52, closed Sundays and Mondays.

I second the rec. for Puccini Bomboni. Their chocolate is really really good.

Another really nice place for coffee, tea and some baked goods or good bread is de Bakkerswinkel, they are in 2 locations, one right in the center in Warmoesstraat, and 1 in Amsterdam Zuid (but that one is actually not far from Albert Cuyp market).

And if you are here on a Saturday, you can visit the farmers market at Noordermarkt (there's a report about that in my fiirst eGullet blog).

have fun with your preparations, and if yu have any more questions, just ask!

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Mark and Klary,

Thanks for the information! Just a couple of comments/questions:

Well, congratulations on your 25th and may be there be many more thereafter...
Hi Eileen! Happy anniversary! How wonderful that you are coming here.

Thanks so much!

Or maybe the nightshop Sterk (open til 2am) for something essential like TP or grilled cheese fixins.

What is a "nightshop" and what is TP?

they're wonderful, and a wonderful example of tofu in pastry that is not the tiniest bit weird or gross.

I love tofu, and will definitely look for this while I'm there. Thanks.

One of the things I really missed when I lived on that side of town (the Old Side of the center) was quality Turkish/Moroccan baked goods

I went to Morocco in May with my son, and would LOVE to have more of their breads and pastries!

And maybe we could plan an eGullet get-together (although we should not plan on this thread, but via PM's.) Just thinking out loud here.

We would definitely be up for that!

The Albert Cuyp area is a must-visit in my opinion. I would love to show you around.

We would love that! We'll PM sometime in October about it.

And if you are here on a Saturday, you can visit the farmers market at Noordermarkt

That's good information, because the reviews of the hotel say the breakfasts there are amazing, but they don't serve fruit. So we can go and buy fruit to have with our breakfast!

Thank you both so much for all of this information! Please add more if you think of anything else.

Best,

Eileen

Edited by etalanian (log)

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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Hi Eileen:

A nightshop exists because traditionally most shops close at 6pm here, pretty much everything except grocery stores and some convenience store/tobacconist shops. Grocery stores close around 8pm for the most part, although that's changing...some stay open until 9 or 10 now. But, you can see how there might be a need for a shop that was open later for emergency needs like alcohol, grilled cheese fixins, and TP (toilet paper). That's what a night shop is.

In the city center, they are usually quite expensive, maybe 50% more expensive than a grocery store. Sterk isn't that bad, but you'll notice a small mark-up. We are so fortunate to have the best night shop in town right next door (it's not really a nightshop, more of a late-opening independent grocery store), it's so good I shop there even when other grocery stores are open...mostly for the wine selection, the bread (they carry Paul Annee breads), the nuts (great, fresh roasted almonds and hazelnuts), and their imported products. Definitely the only place in town to pickup dried cepes, peppadew peppers, brie in calvados, and black beans at midnight!

Only drawback for you is that it's just on the northwestern edge of the city center, probably a good brisk 15 minute walk if you knew where you were going. But, because someone will need it eventually:

De Avondmarkt (website down this week)

De Wittenkade 94-96

1051 AK Amsterdam

Hours are something like 4pm-12am most days, longer hours on weekends.

+++

Slightly OT: Don't know when you're coming in November, but I believe the 8th is Museum Night, when you can buy one ticket to 40 museums or so, and they're open late (some til 2am) and some have food and drinks available...it can be a fun night if the weather's nice, you just bike from museum to museum. Maybe not so OT: the Jewish Historical Museum had quite a party last year (maybe 2004) with lots of traditional dishes...I imagine the Tropenmuseum would do similar....

mark

P.S. I too would be up for an eGullet meetup...maybe even combining that with Albert Cuyp since it's a great eating neighborhood.

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Another sunny weekend has gone by and Amsterdams outdoor cafes have once again been invaded by beer and coffee drinkers. Amsterdamers love their coffee or beer in the sun just as much as any south european.

Let's hope that there are a few more sunny weekends like this one before the cold season comes.

Does anyone have any good recommendations for outdoor dining in Amsterdam? I would prefer a place where you can have a nice lunch since it is probably to cold to sit outdoors by dinnertime.

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Hmmm. That's a bit of a tough one for me: I've got some places I really like for beers/wine/coffee outside, but food (and service, because one of my most frequent haunts is self-service on the terrace) is definitely not a priority at these places, it's all about location and sun.

Other than that, I'm having trouble recalling an outdoor lunch that was significantly above average. Van Kerkwijk (mentioned upthread) is nice for lunch, but there's no sun because it's on the Nes.

Is there anywhere you already enjoy, Nico?

I'll do what I can here: when there's beer to be drunk, I'm normally at one of the following handful:

De Engelbewaarder, Kloveniersburgwal 59.

used to be my local, I've grown to like everything about it. Excellent "real" jazz on Sunday (in the Sonny Rollins/Dexter Gordon vein), usually led by bad boy Sean Bergin.

De Kat in de Wijngaert, Lindengracht 160

my favorite uitsmijter in town, normally quite great music inside.

Sound Garden, Marnixstraat 164-6.

a pit punky-looking, but totally friendly with a nice back terrace.

Cafe Het Molenpad, 653 Prinsengracht.

next to the library, insert your favorite drinking/studying joke here.

Pacific Parc, Polonceaukade 23.

really dismally preoccupied service, which I avoid by ordering at the bar...really useful only if you are already near Westerpark.

http://www.blablablog.nl/B1038127581/C937148759/E20050722233727/index.html

Kanis & Meiland, Levantkade 12.

On KNSM-eiland, this place has gotten really dismal food reviews lately, even though I've never had anything bad there. But I haven't been this year. Anyway, I like it because it seems like a futuristic version of Amsterdam.

i also re-second Chufi's Vondelpark recommendations upthread (except for maybe Vertigo), along with In de Wildeman, which has no food but is a nice hang outside.

mark

Edited by markemorse (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Mark-

I love the site listed for Toko Ikan Mas. link

I am not sure if it's in there as a joke (if so, excellent!), but check out the Nemo photo they give as an example of sushi.

Heck, even if it isn't a joke: excellent! :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow cakewench....see, this is the kind of thing I miss out on b/c I don't have kids--I went way beyond not recognizing Nemo in the picture, I had to go Google it to find out what Nemo was.... :rolleyes:

At least I think it's b/c I don't have kids. Anyway, I can assure you that they don't have Nemo sushi. Actually I've never tried their sushi, and I'm not sure I would, either...Nemo or no. I really try to leave sushi to the Japanese...which leads us to the question: where might one find interesting sushi in Amsterdam? I think I've only had it at three places: Shinjuku (Kloveniersburgwal), A-Fusion (Zeedijk), and the now-missing Stereo Sushi (which was my favorite of the three).

I know of nowhere in my current 'hood (Stadsliedenbuurt/Haarlemmerstraat). Anyone?

mem

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hey! New King is my favorite as well! Here are their oysters  :wub:

gallery_21505_2566_20625.jpg

BTW, I had lunch at New King the other day (a great time to go), and tried the oysters for the first time. Klary's photo doesn't really give you a sense of the scale of these oysters....they're each about the size of (searching for a universal reference point here...), um...my wireless mouse? They're big is what I'm saying. And great, the highlight of my lunch.

I also had some ha kauw and Szechwan chicken, both nice. Should mention that the Szechwan chicken is served "dry" (as in sauceless), so you've got to work out your own lubrication if that's important. I turned to the chili oil and sriracha-like sauce on the table to moisten my kip and by golly it sure did work out nicely. Still my favorite Chinese in town.

mark

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Has anyone been to a small food shop on the Haalemmerstraat called Caulils(sp)?

I've walked past it on the way home after leaving Proust but have never been inside. Is it worth a stop during the day?

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Has anyone been to a small food shop on the Haalemmerstraat called Caulils(sp)?

I've walked past it on the way home after leaving Proust but have never been inside. Is it worth a stop during the day?

Hey IlCuoco, it's definitely worth a stop and a peek. They do have nice cheeses and cured meats, but in terms of packaged items, they don't really have too much that you can't find elsewhere on Haarlemmerstraat (mostly Italian and Spanish pastas, preserved items, and tuna). One thing they do have that I stop there for is salmon cakes from Frank's Smoke House. Very nice for a quick and easy appetizer. And they carry Dolfin chocolate bars from Belgium which come in flavors like curry, anise, and pink peppercorn...an interesting change of pace for dessert, not as good as Puccini's though, IMHO.

mark

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Has anyone been to a small food shop on the Haalemmerstraat called Caulils(sp)?

I've walked past it on the way home after leaving Proust but have never been inside. Is it worth a stop during the day?

Hey IlCuoco, it's definitely worth a stop and a peek. They do have nice cheeses and cured meats, but in terms of packaged items, they don't really have too much that you can't find elsewhere on Haarlemmerstraat (mostly Italian and Spanish pastas, preserved items, and tuna). One thing they do have that I stop there for is salmon cakes from Frank's Smoke House. Very nice for a quick and easy appetizer. And they carry Dolfin chocolate from Belgium which comes in flavors like curry, anise, and pink peppercorn...an interesting change of pace for dessert, not as good as Puccini's though.

mark

Many thanks. It was the cheeses that drew me there in the first place (I saw some of them being delivered and they looked quite nice).

I know Dolfin, good chocolate. I'm lucky in that I can get it here in Utrecht if I need it.

If you don't mind another question, any idea where I can find high protein flour for bread or low protein flour for cakes/biscuits?

Yours in ignorace.... :)

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If you don't mind another question, any idea where I can find high protein flour for bread or low protein flour for cakes/biscuits?

Yours in ignorace.... :)

I like Caulils, it's a nice litle shop. They also organize winetastings, which a friend of mine is always raving about, but I haven't been to one yet myself.

As for the flour, try Delicious Foods on Westerstraat 24. I love this place, they sell all sorts of grains and pulses etc. in bulk (unusual in Amsterdam), they have this device where you can make your own peanutbutter, lovely homemade pastries, etc. and they sell a variety of flours from the Soezie range. About a year ago they were even selling sourdough starters, not sure if they still do that, but this place is worth a visit if you're interested in baking, just have a chat with the very friendly and knowledgeable owners.

Edited by Chufi (log)
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If you don't mind another question, any idea where I can find high protein flour for bread or low protein flour for cakes/biscuits?

Yours in ignorace.... :)

I like Caulils, it's a nice litle shop. They also organize winetastings, which a friend of mine is always raving about, but I haven't been to one yet myself.

As for the flour, try Delicious Foods on Westerstraat 24. I love this place, they sell all sorts of grains and pulses etc. in bulk (unusual in Amsterdam), they have this device where you can make your own peanutbutter, lovely homemade pastries, etc. and they sell a variety of flours from the Soezie range. About a year ago they were even selling sourdough starters, not sure if they still do that, but this place is worth a visit if you're interested in baking, just have a chat with the very friendly and knowledgeable owners.

Wow, outstanding! Thanks loads for the recomendation. Looks like I'll be trekking to Amsterdam in the near future!

Cheers.

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Sorry to post twice in a row, but I wanted to change the subject a bit. If you're looking for a lovely source for wine, may I suggest Van Wageningen en de Lange on the Oudegracht in Utrecht?

They specialize in French wine but their catalog has some nice Portuguese, Spanish and Italian stuff as well. The owners are an older couple who inherited the business from the wife's uncle (the place has been there since the late 1800s). It's located right on the canal in one of the old storage warehouses so the place is basically a couple of interconnected caves which open onto the water.

They're primarily an importer and most of their business with restaurants, wine shops, etc but they keep stock for retail and will also import (by bottle or case) for private clients as well. Only downside is the lack of browsing hours as they're open weekdays and usually only in the afternoons.

I used them a couple of days ago to source some older wines and today, I attended a tasting (they do a few each year and do each tasting 2 or 3 times). A great selection of wines were out (I'll post tasting notes later) and they really gave some thought to selections.

The owners have a particular passion for Port and they stock a TREMENDOUS selection.

Can't say enough about the place, friendly folk, great in-stock selection, excellent sourcing (they located the wines I was looking for between Friday when I asked and today when I went to the tasting)-the real deal.

They also will do private tastings. I'll be setting one up with some friends but if anyone is interested in coming as well, PM me.

For serious, one of the best wine shops I've found in a while.

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I've been a fan of Indonesian cuisine since my long-ago days as a student at The Hague Academy of International Law, almost 40 years ago. Back then, Indonesian was the only option available to any rather impecunious college students who wanted a reasonably good hot meal in the Netherlands...

I'll be spending 48 hours in Amsterdam next week - my longest stopover in years! A good occasion to get myself up to date. So my question would be: Is there a consensus on which the best Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam currently is? I've read with attention Klary's endorsement of Djago, a few months back. I've also read good things about Tempo Doeloe, Sama Sebo, Indrapura, Radèn Mas… Thanks for any input!

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Hi vserna,

Cool that you get to come back for a bit! Too bad you missed a rather warm October, the temps seem on their way down as of this week...

It's worth noting that the Hague is generally known for having better Indonesian food than Amsterdam....

But as for Amsterdam: all the restaurants you've listed are very tourist-oriented, which to me usually means upscale environment, attentive waitstaff, and food that's less spicy and more expensive.

Tempo Doeloe, probably known as the "Best Indonesian" in town, is probably the best of your list...it is very pretty inside, has a pretty comprehensive menu and the food is good and spicy. But it really is an unfairly expensive restaurant (a bottle of water is 6 euro), and because of this I haven't eaten there since I first moved here...there are just too many other places with comparable food who don't gouge you.

Tujuh Maret is a few doors down from Tempo Doeloe and though the menu is not really "standard Indonesian" (it's a regional variant, from Minahasa, north of Sulawesi), I'd rather eat there than Tempo Doeloe. Although I've heard that Tujuh Maret's rijstafel is not very interesting and to be avoided. I've always ordered a la carte.

That said, I only hear good things about the food at Tempo Doeloe, so if you're no longer impecunious and money is not an issue then it could be an option.

Anyway, my short list, very much limited to neighborhoods in which I normally hang out:

Restaurants

Djago, Scheldeplein 18.

Blue Pepper, Nassaukade 366.

Tujuh Maret, Utrechtsestraat 73.

Tokos

Terang Boelan Afhaalcentrum, 2e Lindendwarsstraat 3hs.

Waroeng Asje, Jan Pieter Heijestraat 180.

Toko Ikan Mas, 1e Constantijn Huygensstraat 61.

Toko Ramee, Ferdinand Bolstraat 74.

I haven't eaten at Djago since I first moved here, but it was the best Indonesian I'd ever had at the time. I've also eaten tons more since, though, and it's probably time to go back to Djago to see how it compares. Blue Pepper i still haven't been to but reviews seem to be more consistent these days and some friends said that they had a fantastic meal there.

Edited by markemorse (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

If I could impose on the local knowledge once more....

I have some friends from Italy who will be staying here for Christmas. Their parents are coming up and they'll be doing their traditional dishes but without access to their shops back home.

So....

If you had to recommend where to find good sea bass for an Italian grandmother from Rome to prepare on Christmas Eve, what fishmonger would you suggest? They're in Eindhoven but anything in A'dam, Utrecht, Eindhoven or surrounding areas would be fine.

Any help offered would be highly appreciated!

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Well, while I do have my favorite fishmonger here in Amsterdam, I can't imagine that there wouldn't be a good one nearer to where they are staying... Maybe just ask the locals? (not on eGullet I mean, the actual locals :smile: )

If you end up doing your Christmas shopping in Amsterdam, let me know and I'll give you specifics about my fishguy.

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